Try Saying This Instead of That

Sometimes I like a simple cheat sheet. It gives me great ideas and primes my mind to come up with some more ideas. With that in mind, here is a cheat sheet for parenting phrases we can use instead of the one that immediately comes to mind when our children do something…eh…crazy. So…

Instead of saying: “What were you thinking?”

Say: “Let me help you with this. I think we can find a better way together.”

Instead of saying: “Stop talking to me like that! You’re embarrassing everyone.”

Say: “Let’s go to a more private place to talk about this.”

Instead of saying: “That’s a good boy.”

Say: “Thank you for being so thoughtful.”

Instead of saying: “I can’t believe you did that. Don’t be stupid.”

Say: “Let’s talk about how you came up with that idea and what happened. Then we can think about another way to respond.”

Instead of saying: “How many times do I have to tell you?”

Say: “We’ve talked about this. What did I tell you before?”

Instead of saying: “Do it again and you’ll lose your Xbox.”

Say: “I see you’re really tempted to do that. Let’s go get a drink and talk about what you need to resist that temptation.”

Instead of saying: “Don’t yell at me!”

Say: “I see this is really important to you and I want to hear what you have to say. Can we talk about it nicely or should we take a break to calm down first?”

What are some other helpful phrases you use that are helpful?

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